#GreatFaith: Emily Parsons P ’21, ’22 and the Community Engagement Team

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Parsons (left) with Community Engagement student leaders

In more than 20 years at Mercersburg Academy, Emily Parsons P ’21, ’22 has positively impacted almost every segment of the school community. Parsons, who grew up in Mercersburg (and whose late father, Sonny ’59, graduated from the Academy), has taught history and worked with students as an adviser, helped with the Karux yearbook and Writing Center, served as a dorm dean and committee head, and was the first director of the school’s Springboard capstone program. 

This year, she became the school’s director of Community Engagement, and her tremendous love for the community makes her a perfect fit in the role. In the fall, Parsons and students on the Community Engagement team hosted the second-annual SO Glow Run on campus in support of Special Olympics Maryland, which has a longstanding relationship with the Academy. Parsons and the students raised $14,300 (their original goal was $12,000) for the organization and the 9,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities that it serves.

Parsons hopes to implement service-learning course opportunities within the program, which would allow classes, teams, and advisories to take on meaningful service projects. She wants all students to have access to Community Engagement—not just those students involved in the after-school activity.

“Kids from all walks of life can feel supported here," says Parsons, whose oldest son, Jay ’21, attends the Maryland Institute College of Art, and middle son, Evan ’22, is a member of the senior class. "In our busy fragmented world, I don't know of too many community-oriented places like Mercersburg Academy.”

—Wynne Elser ’22